Duke and North Carolina’s third meeting of the season during the New York Life ACC Men’s Tournament semifinals delivered big with a 3.0 overnight rating, making it the highest rated Champ Week game on ESPN, including all other conference championship title games. The game peaked with a 3.6 rating in the final minutes of the second half (11:30-11:45 p.m. ET).
The two semifinals averaged a 2.1 rating, ranking as the highest-rated tournament semifinals in ESPN history. Virginia-Florida State, which preceded the historic rivalry, averaged a 1.3 overnight rating. Last night’s ACC semis featured three of the top five teams ranked in the AP poll, the first time that has ever happened in conference tournament history.
Prior to last night’s game, the best Champ Week game was Syracuse-Louisville in 2009, which averaged a 2.5 overnight rating. The last time both ACC semifinals aired on ESPN was 2017 – that year, both semifinals averaged a 1.5 rating.
This comes on the heels of men’s college basketball being up 15 percent on ESPN in the regular season.
Champ Week continues with Championship Saturday
Champ Week Presented by Principal continues today with Championship Saturday, when 11 teams will punch their ticket to the NCAA men’s tournament. Conference title games America East (11 a.m., ESPN2), MEAC (1 p.m., ESPN2), Big 12 (6 p.m., ESPN), SWAC (6 p.m., ESPNU), MAC (7:30 p.m., ESPN2), Big Sky (8 p.m., ESPNU), ACC (8:30 p.m., ESPN), Southland (9:30 p.m., ESPN2), WAC (10 p.m., ESPNU), Pac-12 (10:30 p.m., ESPN) and Big West (midnight, ESPN2). Coverage will also include the semifinals of the American Athletic, Ivy League and SEC Tournaments.
Champ Week will culminate Sunday, March 17, with daylong programming leading up to the men’s tournament bracket reveal, as part of Selection Sunday.